Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Loving My Ten Dollar Tops-The Opportunity Advantage of Frugality in Retirement.

Part of my favorite shopping center

 I have a confession.  I do not like malls. It's not that I object to shopping as such. I just find indoor malls-claustrophobic, perhaps?  I say that even as a person who lives in a place with winter. I say that even as I see the local mall where they are preparing to remodel looking to add restaurants, and even a micro brewery and a kids party zone to attract people. 

I did forget to hit Yankee Candle while I was there, sale or no sale

Fortunately, most of the places I have lived have the alternative of the outdoor mall or "shops"  I live in driving distance from the Streets at Southglenn, and in Texas I had Water's Creek and the Streets at Fairview. The closest thing to me is Aspen Grove, a three sided outdoor mall that also has a movie and a beer place and my local one of a kind bookstore. Today I had to return an item to a store, and hit the proverbial mother lode.  One of the stores I shop it was having their deep summer sale (yes, I know it's barely July!).  I ended up walking away with six items,.  All of these tops were between forty and fifty dollars a couple weeks ago, and now were ten dollars. Let's just say that had there been more tops I liked, I would have purchased them all-and in fact I may go back again! These were all clothing I would wear, and included things like a sweater and a cardigan that can be worn year around, not just summer clothing. 

Unfortunately we are having a smokey haze today from Canada, so my natural light was not the best

When I got home and got on the computer to write about my shopping and discount adventures today, I discovered that Clark's shoes have a large sale today, with two pairs of shoes being 99 dollars. Since most of their shoes retail for between $95 and $120, this is a great deal. 

Financially, I did not have to "think" about either purchase. I was able (if I chose) to purchase both of these items. In both cases the purchase was a financial opportunity I could take advantage of, and improved my bottom line and eased my clothing budget. Put simply, it's for moments like this that I don't budget normally, and that I budget for much less than I make each month.

Some time ago, I talked about my grocery budget. That budget, like everything else not within the monthly housing/utility/insurance sphere is simply an average.  Why?  Because the best way to live frugally and yet not be deprived is to be able to take advantage of deep discounts-sometimes in bulk, sometimes not. Traditional budgeting says to budget by category. Traditional budgeting also says  things like "even if it's a good deal, wait 24 hours and think it over".  While I might do that for a car, at this point in my life I know what I need. I also know good prices when I see them and am rarely fooled by false sales (probably why I rarely shop at say, Kohl's).

Because my base spending is very low, I can take advantages of sales where cashmere sweaters sell for the price of Walmart Tshirts.  Because I buy sweaters that are on sale for the price of t-shirts, I can have more clothing for less cost.  Instead of budgeting $60 a month for clothing, I allow myself to pay a couple hundred dollars for clothing on sale, and then may not buy anything for months. Just as my food budget may be $500 in one month and $150 in the next. 

In the long run, by budgeting only for those basic monthly expenses and minimal groceries, I make that pot of disposable income work for me. I end up with more things I need and want at better prices, more fluid cash, more travel and fun money and a rich life in retirement.

This doesn't mean that I don't set financial priorities by the way-for me that's different than budgeting. Those priorities are still home, family, health and travel. But because I budget tight to the bone to make room for "opportunity spending" the bottom line gets better. 

Yep, occasionally I have to add a dog picture-just because!

And it's not just about clothing. Nor, honestly is it only about needs. That fabric that was over sixty percent off I talked  about before? Had that been quilting fabric, I would have probably pulled everything I liked-and then been able to make quilts for six months. In my email today was a message from Joe's Crab Shack about "two fer" Tuesdays. Best Western has a deal where if you buy a $100 gift card, and you get a $50 one free. I have no intent to travel immediately, but when I do, I know of two very classy five star Best Westerns I will be visiting-and because I purchased two gift cards now, I'll have one free night out of three then.

And so it goes.

I suppose I should add a disclaimer here. I know what my priorities are in terms of life and spending and re-evaluate them, and I know what I have and need in terms of possessions. I can see how someone who was not in my place, might prefer to budget monthly or differently.  And I do track all my spending and take a note every few months if I feel that one area is out of whack.

It's what works for me!


  1. You are frugal with built-in flexibility. I am still trying to figure out my comfort zone since retiring. I have expensive tastes but a Walmart budget now it seems! I do find I don't need a whole lot of clothes these days but I do invest in good shoes and my feet thank me. I will be checking back for more inspiration!

    1. I also have expensive tastes. But I have learned to love these kinds of sales, along with consognment stores!

  2. I can't resist a great bargain....well done!

    1. Me either. I am very happy. Just wavering on the orchid sweater as it is not my usual color.

    2. Me either. I am very happy. Just wavering on the orchid sweater as it is not my usual color.

  3. Enjoy your beautiful new clothes!

  4. I will. Just wavering on the new color.

  5. I will. Just wavering on the new color.

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  7. Love your frugal purchase. Sorry for the smoke from my part of the world. It is really bad up here and some times the haze even brings the smell of burning pine.

    God bless.


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